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My Christmas Wish for Santa

By Kathy Hubbard
Dear Santa:
I’ve been a nice lady all year. Honestly. I’ve worked hard to give my readers good advice on their health. I’ve tried to be politically correct, tolerant and thoughtful. But, now it’s time to tell you what I want for Christmas and you may not like what I have to say.
I want you to lose weight. You’re a role model, for goodness sake. And, you’re really fat. You are much more than a bowl full of jelly, Mister Bulbous Belly.
Sure, there are a lot of reasons you’ve packed on the poundage. I’m as guilty as anyone for leaving you milk or eggnog and lots of cookies. But, not tomorrow night! I’m leaving you a list of websites that can help you slim it down a bit so you’ll live longer. Yes, my eurysome elf, despite the fact you’re over 500 years old, we want you around another five centuries, at least.
The World Health Organization tells us that worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980. “Most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.” And here’s the fact, flabby fellow, “Obesity is preventable.”
Best to my knowledge you’ve always been on the plump side but that’s no reason not to change now. As a matter of fact, losing as few as ten pounds can lower your blood pressure thereby lowering your risk for heart attack and stroke.
Besides what you put into your big mouth, one of the barriers to you losing weight is your sleeping habits. Toiling in your workshop for heaven knows how many long hours before Christmas Eve, then circumnavigating the entire world in one night?? Do you know how to say sleep deprivation?
An article published in the American Journal of Health Promotion that I found at Medical News Today’s website states that “sleeping less than 7 hours a night may mean that people are eating and drinking more, contributing to obesity.
“Studies have shown that building up a sleep debt over a matter of days can impair metabolism and disrupt hormone levels. Studies restricting healthy young adults’ sleep for a few nights have shown that the body’s ability to process glucose in the blood declines, in some cases to the level of diabetes.”
You argue that you get plenty of exercise. Well, a study just completed at the Umea University in Sweden concluded that “the risk of early death was higher in fit obese individuals than in unfit normal-weight individuals.”
And about that backache you always have? It’s more than just lifting that heavy sack incorrectly. Yup, it’s the poundage. An article in Science Daily states, “Obesity is a strong independent risk factor for pain. The disease nearly doubles the risk of chronic pain among the elderly – causing pain in soft-tissue structures such as tendons and ligaments, and worsening conditions such as fibromyalgia in individuals already living with constant pain in their muscles and joints.”
What’s a porky pudge-muffin to do? Get a complete physical examination by your primary care healthcare professional. Your PCP will be able to advise you on a plan that will work for you. Since you’re well over 65 you may be eligible to participate in the Medicare funded Intensive Behavioral Therapy.
Oh, you don’t qualify because the North Pole isn’t in the U.S.? No worries. Go to www.choosemyplate.gov to learn amazing tricks and tips on how to help you reach a healthier body weight. The secrets to success include finding out what you eat and drink; finding out what to eat and drink; getting a personalized Daily Food Plan, and learning how to make better choices that will have a lasting impact on your body weight.
This website states, “The number one source of calories in the American diet is desserts, like cakes and cookies.” So, that’s why you’re getting nothing to eat from me this Christmas Eve. And, I don’t mind if you just leave me a lump of coal, you lump of lard. You can probably find one on the railroad tracks, but that’s a subject for a different letter.
Kathy Hubbard is a member of Bonner General Health Foundation Advisory Committee. She can be reached at 264-4029 or kathyleehubbard@yahoo.com.

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